Upon separation of employment, you may qualify for retiree benefits and be eligible to continue your medical and life insurance coverage through Smithsonian Institution if you meet all of the following criteria.
- you must be age 50 or over;
- you must have 10 years of Smithsonian Trust Fund service;
- you must have been enrolled in a Smithsonian Trust Fund health plan for at least 5 years immediately prior to retirement;
- you must apply for a Plan distribution or begin your annuity from TIAA-CREF within one year of retirement.
Retiree Health Coverage:
You and your covered dependents will be able to continue your current medical plan in retirement by paying 100% of the monthly premium. The plan that you will have is the same plan you have as an active employee, in many cases. You will have the opportunity to change carriers each year at Open Enrollment.
If you have retiree status, when you and your covered dependent becomes eligible for Medicare, you will be switched to a plan coordinated with Medicare, which is less expensive. The plan will provide the same level of benefits as the active plan, except that Medicare is the primary payer and your insurance through the Smithsonian is secondary. It is extremely important that you enroll in Medicare Part B because Smithsonian's plan, as secondary payer, will only pay benefits as if you have Part B of Medicare. You should contact your local Social Security Administration office at least three months prior to your 65th birthday if you are an active employee at SAO.
Retiree Life Insurance:
You can continue your Basic life insurance coverage at its full value until you reach age 66. The amount of life insurance will decrease by 75% over a three-year period after you reach age 66. If you are under age 65, you will be responsible for paying the monthly premiums for this insurance. Once you turn age 65, the Smithsonian will pay the premium on your behalf.
Dental Coverage and/or Vision Coverage:
If you are under the Medicare eligible age, you may continue your dental and/or vision coverage for up to 18 months under Temporary Continuation of Coverage (TCC) by paying 102% of the monthly premium. Other than TCC coverage, there is no retiree coverage for dental or vision plans.
For further information on retiree benefits and premium rates, and to apply for coverage, please contact the SAO Benefits Office at (617) 495-7371.